David Wiesner

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David Wiesner
Wiesner at the Mazza Museum in 2011
Wiesner at the Mazza Museum in 2011
Born David Wiesner
(1956-02-05) February 5, 1956 (age 62)
Bridgewater, New Jersey, USA
Occupation Illustrator, writer
Nationality American
Period 1980–present
Genre Children's picture books
Notable works
Notable awards Caldecott Medal
1992, 2002, 2007

David Englewood Wiesner (born February 5, 1956) is an American illustrator and writer of children's books, known best for picture books including some that tell stories without words. As an illustrator he has won three Caldecott Medals recognizing the year's "most distinguished American picture book for children"[1] and he was one of five finalists in 2008 for the biennial, international Hans Christian Andersen Award, the highest recognition available for creators of children's books.[2]


Wiesner was born and raised in Bridgewater, New Jersey, and graduated from Rhode Island School of Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in illustration.


Wiesner's first book was Honest Andrew, a picture book with text by Gloria Skurzynski, published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich in 1980. That year he also illustrated a novel by Avi, Man From the Sky (Knopf, 1980). After illustrating a dozen or more books with other writers, he and his wife Kim Kahng co-wrote Loathsome Dragon, a picture book with his illustrations that G.P. Putnam's published in 1987. Since then Wiesner has created many picture books solo—as writer and illustrator, or stories without words. Free Fall (Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1988) was a Caldecott Honor Book, a runner-up for the annual Caldecott Medal, conferred by the American Library Association on the illustrator of the year's best-illustrated picture book.[1]

Free Fall was the first example of the predominant style of his solo books, which tell a fantastical, often dream-like story without words, only illustrations. Subsequently he won three Caldecott Medals for solo picture books—Tuesday (1991), The Three Pigs (2001), and Flotsam (2006)—and he was one of the runners-up for Sector 7 (1999) and Mr. Wuffles! (2013). (Marcia Brown is the only other person to win three Caldecotts, from 1955 to 1983.)[1]

In January 2017, Wiesner had a retrospective art exhibition entitled David Wiesner & the Art of Wordless Storytelling at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. In the exhibition Wiesner showed his work highlights throughout the years of his career. The exhibition ended May 14, 2017 at SBMA and continued rotating through museums to current day.


As writer and illustrator[edit]

  • 1987 Loathsome Dragon, retold by Wiesner and Kim Kahng
  • 1988 Free Fall
  • 1990 Hurricane
  • 1991 Tuesday
  • 1992 June 29, 1999
  • 1999 Sector 7
  • 2001 The Three Pigs
  • 2006 Flotsam[3]
  • 2010 Art & Max
  • 2013 Mr. Wuffles!
  • 2018 I Got It!

As illustrator[edit]



  1. ^ a b c "Caldecott Medal & Honor Books, 1938–Present". Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC). American Library Association (ALA).
      "The Randolph Caldecott Medal". ALSC. ALA. Retrieved 2013-07-16.
  2. ^ "IBBY Announces Winners of 2008 Hans Christian Andersen Awards". International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY). Press release 31 March 2008.
      "Hans Christian Andersen Awards". IBBY. Retrieved 2013-07-22.
  3. ^ David Small (November 12, 2006). "Fish in Focus". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-06-16.  Review of Flotsam (Clarion Books, 2007).

External links[edit]